No matter your business, client retention goes a long way toward determining whether or not you can sustain success. And when we say "sustain success," all that really means is "grow revenue." And when we say grow revenue, we mean year over year. And when we say—well, you get the point. Client retention is important.
Create A Consummate Customer Experience
As we've discussed before, professional spas and salons are in the business of providing a consummate customer experience. Do results—an exquisite pedi, a perfect facial, an ideal hair cut—matter? Absolutely. Without receiving desired results, your clients will never return. That's a given. But the time your client spends in your spa or salon can tip the retention scale in your favor as well.
Truly focusing on the client experience means putting yourself in your clients' shoes, from point A to Z. What happens when they walk through the front door? What happens while they're receiving a treatment? What happens when that treatment's over? All of these touch points must be considered. And to help, we've pulled together the following six tips for retaining spa clients:
1. Experience Matters: Having an experienced staff goes a long way toward ensuring that your customers have a superior experience. Experience, in spas and salons, means a boatload of things: technical expertise, a strong ear for client needs, and a friendly bedside manner. Without a competent staff—and a strong training program to mentor new hires—any business will struggle.
2. First Touch: While it's easy to get caught up in focusing on treatments, the moment your client walks through the door serves as a critical first interaction. The importance of having an amiable and reliable person serving as a greeter and appointment-maker can't be overstated. We know this is easier said than done; since this is a role typically reserved for younger staff members, or upstart estheticians, it can have a high turnover rate. If financially feasible, you might want to attract a solid candidate with better pay or enticing benefits.
3. Final Touch: While the front desk comes into play here again—be it for making follow-up appointments, or asking if service was satisfactory—it reaches beyond the walls of your spa or salon, too. A follow-up email asking if the customer was happy with results, or a survey seeking ways to improve your service, are always nice touches. Moreover, asking for feedback is a win-win. Even if you receive negative comments, it allows you to bridge a service gap.
4. Salon/Spa Décor: Unfortunately, spas and salons can't get away as "dives" like restaurants can. While a foodie may enjoy eating at a hole in the wall, spa and salon customers are looking for a luxurious experience. That's why a ton of thought must go into the design and décor of your establishment. You want to guarantee that a client feels 100% comfortable throughout their experience. Some people have the eye for this; if you don't, you should probably consider hiring an interior designer.
5. Perfect Products: To use the best products, you must have a vast knowledge of what's on the market. This ranges from quality to availability, and then making the right call to ensure that your staff has them in their hands. The wrong product, ranging from a hair dye to a cotton ball, can determine whether or not you ever see that customer again. The class of tools you use, no matter the industry, are an extension of your customer commitment.
6. Retail Offerings: Dovetailing with #5, the products your estheticians and technicians use matter. Combining that concept with a strong in-spa/salon retail offering only strengthens that message to your customer. It proves that you stand behind these products, long after a treatment is over. And at minimum, you're providing your customer with the additional benefit of handling their beauty needs in a one-stop shop: yours.
The Details Matter, From Start To Finish
Perhaps to some all of this is common sense. To others, hopefully we made you think about some potential holes you need to plug. Either way, when you head into work tomorrow, pick one client and follow them throughout their experience in your spa or salon; you might be surprised at what you discover. By shadowing them you're basically stepping into their shoes, and giving yourself the strongest chance to see them walk through your doors again.